- A secondary education school in Madrid converts a petrol powered SEAT 600 to electric
- Sourcing parts and joining the gearbox to the engine were the main challenges of the project
- More than 150 hours of work were required to reconstruct the vehicle
Martorell, 11/07/2019. 150 hours of work, 10 new parts and 12 students. This is what the San Patricio school in Madrid needed for the electric conversion of a SEAT 600.
12 students, one challenge: With the goal of motivating the 12 students in his Industrial Technology class, San Patricio secondary school teacher Manuel Amor gave them a challenge: convert a historic car to electric. For the challenge they needed a car that was small and light-weight. “The 600 was perfect because as it weighs little, it needs less battery power and a smaller engine”, the teacher explained.
A revolutionary interior: The combination of a vintage car model and Generation Z students caused a revolution in the interior of the vehicle, which features a touch screen and automatic light control. “It was very interesting to see how the students imagined the car of the future and how they made it a reality”, said the teacher.
Small on parts, big on imagination: The students learned new things as they made progress on the project. They had to make all the parts that couple to the engine from scratch to be able to build the new electric engine. “Thanks to reusing, repairing and recycling parts and material, the project is an example of circular economy.”
A bumpy road: Developing any kind of model involves overcoming obstacles, and the electric 600 project had its share. The students of San Patricio and their teacher were faced with several difficulties, often under heavy pressure. “When we had to deliver the car, smoke began to pour out. We thought all was lost but luckily we didn’t throw in the towel. Then we checked the connections, saw what was wrong and replaced the fuse that had burned out”, stated the teacher.
The 600, king of the classroom: Since sales of the SEAT 600 began in 1957 it was one of the most emblematic and cherished cars in Spain, and for many a symbol of freedom. This class of 18 year-olds, many of whom were unaware of the car’s history, “were astonished that an entire family could even fit inside”. The other students at the school were also curious to see whether the vehicle would work. “But their grandparents were the most surprised of all, to see a car from their generation revived with the latest technology.”
The 600, facts and figures
Production period: 1957-1973
Units sold: 794,406 units (in 16 years)
Price: 65,000 pesetas (around €390 of today)
Models: 600, 600D, 600E, 600L, 800, 600 Van, 600 Convertible
Nicknames: “Six Hundred”, “Little ball”, “Seíta” or “Seílla”